By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
A former employee of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department pleaded guilty Friday in Mercer County Circuit Court to embezzlement and paid restitution.
Charlotte Harvey, 53, of Princeton appeared for a status hearing before Senior Status Judge John Hrko, who had been assigned to the case. Harvey’s attorney, Harold B. Wolfe III, told the judge that a plea agreement had been reached.
Harvey had been indicted on two counts of embezzlement. The charge carries a penalty of one to 10 years imprisonment or a year in jail and a $2,500 fine, Hrko said.
Under the plea agreement, the state will dismiss one charge of embezzlement. Harvey agreed to plead guilty to the remaining count of embezzlement and pay restitution. A check for $14,605.75 was turned over by Wolfe during the hearing.
Hrko told Harvey that if she violated the plea agreement, there would be a hearing to determine whether she had violated probation, but there would be no trial because she had pleaded guilty.
Harvey said she worked at the sheriff’s department until November 2011 when she heard that a loss of money might be investigated. She went to Sheriff Don Meadows and admitted to taking money.
“I went to the sheriff and told him I had embezzled money,” Harvey said.
While being questioned by Hrko about the plea agreement, Harvey stated that she did not have any addictions to drugs, alcohol or gambling, and that the money had not been spent on drugs. Harvey explained that she had taken the money to help her children, who are living outside the state, and to help her family’s financial situation when the front foundation of her home collapsed.
After determining that Harvey understood the terms of the plea agreement and her right to a trial by jury, Hrko accepted the plea agreement.
“Ms. Harvey, I wish you luck,” he said.
Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash represented the state in the case.